n9ne Steakhouse | Chicago, Illinois

Two new restaurants in Chicago today!  And shame on me for being such a bad blogger – I got pictures at one but can’t for the life of me remember the name of it, and the other one, n9ne, awesome food and decor, and not a single picture.  Frankly I didn’t know my company quite well enough to bust out the iPhone and start snapping, tourist-style.  Hmm, best to steal some photos from the website?  I’ll have to see what I can muster.

First up, lunch.  What a beautiful day to have lunch on the river, soaking up the sunshine, so that’s exactly what we did.  It was a great break from a crazy Monday at Neocon to depart momentarily from the hustle and bustle and sit in the sun with some great people.  But sadly, friends – and you’re not going to hear me say this often, but I think I ordered wrong!  So unlike me.  My sandwich sounded so appetizing on the menu, but it was not much more than turkey sandwich which some raddicio and a little poorly flavored condiment, on a toasted multi-grain bread that was far too hearty for the ingredients.  Major pet peeve of mine is when sandwiches are ruined with the wrong bread.  Half the bread would have been too much, and it was too crunchy (and large) to get your mouth around and enjoy.  The salad that accompanied was just okay for me also – the dressing was a tad too tart.  So in this case, we sacrificed a little on the food for some ambiance.  But even with the snafu in ordering, it was a gorgeous day, great atmosphere (i.e. outdoor patio), wonderful company, and a free lunch (thank you, Julie)…who am I to question this.  And I do give them high marks for presentation, plus, my friends appeared to be pleased with their lunches – luckily I got pics of all three.  If I had to do it again I would have gone for the grilled cheese with bacon and tomato jam – yes please.  Turkey? I’m dumb.

On to dinner.  n9ne Steakhouse is apparently owned by a restaurant group, one of which is in Vegas, and the interiors of this Chicago steakhouse were somewhat reminiscent of Vegas styling in a lot of ways.  Lots of sparkle and flash, oversized lighting, and a few snooty wait staff all supported the Vegas vibe.  Really our server wasn’t all bad, just playing the part I suppose.  As for the food, we had a true feast, starting with a fresh seafood platter which included lobster, jumbo shrimp, clams, muscles, and oysters.  For the main event, I opted for the 8 oz. filet with bernaise sauce which was cooked to perfection, tender and juicy, melted in your mouth.  Perfectly seasoned too.  On the side we had an assortment of dishes to share, including lobster mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, and the table favorite, duck fat fries – yes I said it.  Absolutely sinful, with a wonderful sauce to accompany.  Like I said, a feast!  I love Chicago!

Of course there was dessert as well – a wonderful creme brulee (although have you ever had a bad one?) and a warm chocolate filled cake topped with a chocolate sorbet.  Chocolate on chocolate is not usually my first choice but this one was pretty divine.  The only negative comment I can find about the whole n9ne experience – and this is more funny than negative – one of the women at our table ordered ice cream, which came in a ramekin and was quite literally one spoon full!  She had to order two in order to taste it – looked more like a palate cleanser than an actual dessert.  But all in all, I would go again, that is if it’s being expensed.  On my own I would have stopped at the appetizer!  Thanks to my wonderful friends (and their expense accounts) for spoiling my palate today.

(Photo compliments of the n9ne Group)

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